Question Windows 11 not loading after adding two new M.2 SSDs ?

Alexey Shulgin

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Hi help is needed !!!

My PC had a problem with one of the HDDs, so I've decided to remove it and add 2 x M2 SSDs to the system (motherboard has extra slots), but now I can's start Windows 11.

Mobo: ASRock Z370 Taichi
System SSD: M2 samsung 960 evo in M2_3 slot (did not change it during upgrade)
two new M2 drives: samsung 980 pro in M2_1 and M2_2 slots

BIOS states all three drives are now in PCI mode, I'm not sure what was the state of system drive (960 evo) before.
All other drives are currently disconnected.

Problem:
I can see all SSD in BIOS, but when I select the untouched system 960Evo to boot, I'm getting the message "operating system not found"
I have tried booting from usb flash and trying automatic repair - it failed.
next I've tried from command prompt running:
bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /rebuildcbd
bcdboot c:\Windows /s c:

this also did not help, as apparently it is not MBR but GPT.

So I'm out of ideas - I really DO NOT want to do clean reinstall. Any ideas how to fix the issue?
 

Alexey Shulgin

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What was the problem you had with the HDD?

What happens if you reinstall the HDD and remove the new SSDs?
HDD just died - disappeared from the system (checked on another machine - it is also not visible). So apparently just it's time came.

Tried restoring original config - same result
Currently have only system M2 ssd hooked up - still no luck. System does not sboot it. Although, from the system prompt I can access files. Should be something wrong with MBR or UFI - but can't find the way to fix it. So far all advises regarding "bootrec" from the web do not work
 
bcdboot c:\Windows /s c:
this also did not help, as apparently it is not MBR but GPT.
This command would take a file from c:\windows if your old windows installation shows up as a different drive letter in recovery, or wherever you are typing these in, then this will not work by default, you would have to use the drive letter windows is on.
Also a default boot menu might not find a windows installation on a different drive so you would have to add it manually.

I would remove all drives except for one of the new nvme drives go through a normal installation of a fresh windows, this would create a new boot partition and a windows partition.
After getting into windows you can use easybcd to add the old windows to the boot menu and you can even delete the new windows partition afterwards.
While this is the messiest solution it is also the easiest and most sure one to succeed.

You can probably repair your current setup only with bcdedit commands from recovery but it's going to be pretty rough.
You would have to create a new store and then /set the old windows as a new entry.
https://neosmart.net/wiki/bcdedit/#BCDEdit_on_Windows_10
 

Alexey Shulgin

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This command would take a file from c:\windows if your old windows installation shows up as a different drive letter in recovery, or wherever you are typing these in, then this will not work by default, you would have to use the drive letter windows is on.
Also a default boot menu might not find a windows installation on a different drive so you would have to add it manually.

I would remove all drives except for one of the new nvme drives go through a normal installation of a fresh windows, this would create a new boot partition and a windows partition.
After getting into windows you can use easybcd to add the old windows to the boot menu and you can even delete the new windows partition afterwards.
While this is the messiest solution it is also the easiest and most sure one to succeed.

You can probably repair your current setup only with bcdedit commands from recovery but it's going to be pretty rough.
You would have to create a new store and then /set the old windows as a new entry.
https://neosmart.net/wiki/bcdedit/#BCDEdit_on_Windows_10
Thank you for the information.

Meanwhile, I got the Windows to boot - the problem was that the Windows bootloader EFI partition was to my surprise on the other drive, which I removed for testing. When I put it back, I did manage to start normally with new SSDs connected.

This brings next question - how can I move EFI partition to other drive? Basically at the moment I have System disk c: on M2 ssd drive 500GB, but EFI bootloader on old SATA 100GB ssd.
 
This brings next question - how can I move EFI partition to other drive? Basically at the moment I have System disk c: on M2 ssd drive 500GB, but EFI bootloader on old SATA 100GB ssd.
Show screenshot from DIsk Management.
(upload to imgur.com and post link)

Basically what you have to do is:
make enough free space on windows OS drive,​
create bootloader partition in freed up space and​
set up bootloader on it.​
Can provide you with precise instructions/commands after you get the requested screenshot.
 
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Alexey Shulgin

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Show screenshot from DIsk Management.
(upload to imgur.com and post link)

Basically what you have to do is:
make enough free space on windows OS drive,​
create bootloader partition in freed up space and​
set up bootloader on it.​
Can provide you with precise instructions/commands after you get the requested screenshot.
Thank you !!!
here is a link to Disk Management screenshot:
View: https://i.imgur.com/7ByF0CR.png


So basically I want to have EFI partition on Disk 1, and get rid completely of Disk 3

step-by-step instructions would be really great
 
step-by-step instructions would be really great
Execute from elevated command prompt. Regular command prompt will give error on last step.
If you get any errors, then stop immediately.

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
(select 467GB disk)​
list partition
select partition 3
(select 680MB partition)​
delete partition override
create partition efi
format fs=fat32 quick
assign letter=M
exit
bcdboot C:\windows /s M:

Last message should be "Boot files created successfully".

If everything went well, then
shutdown, disconnect 240GB disk,​
set first boot device in BIOS to Windows boot manager on 500GB disk.​
Test if you can boot into windows.​
Might be necessary to turn off secure boot.

After successful test you can delete 100MB efi partition on disk 3.

https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/e/elevated.htm
 

Alexey Shulgin

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Feb 21, 2014
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Execute from elevated command prompt. Regular command prompt will give error on last step.
If you get any errors, then stop immediately.

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
(select 467GB disk)​
list partition
select partition 3
(select 680MB partition)​
delete partition override
create partition efi
format fs=fat32 quick
assign letter=M
exit
bcdboot C:\windows /s M:

Last message should be "Boot files created successfully".

If everything went well, then
shutdown, disconnect 240GB disk,​
set first boot device in BIOS to Windows boot manager on 500GB disk.​
Test if you can boot into windows.​
Might be necessary to turn off secure boot.

After successful test you can delete 100MB efi partition on disk 3.

https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/e/elevated.htm
Thanks will try it now
 

Alexey Shulgin

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Feb 21, 2014
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No disagreement with the suggested instructions.

Quick question:

Is all important data backed up at least 2 x to locations other than on the problem computer and drives?

Verify that the backups are recoverable and readable.

Just as a matter of taking normal precautions and care.
and
Execute from elevated command prompt. Regular command prompt will give error on last step.
If you get any errors, then stop immediately.

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
(select 467GB disk)​
list partition
select partition 3
(select 680MB partition)​
delete partition override
create partition efi
format fs=fat32 quick
assign letter=M
exit
bcdboot C:\windows /s M:

Last message should be "Boot files created successfully".

If everything went well, then
shutdown, disconnect 240GB disk,​
set first boot device in BIOS to Windows boot manager on 500GB disk.​
Test if you can boot into windows.​
Might be necessary to turn off secure boot.

After successful test you can delete 100MB efi partition on disk 3.

https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/e/elevated.htm
Big thanks to you!!!
Everything is fixed and working. Your help is really appreciated!!!

P.S. backups - are always a must, have 3 or 4 copies of vital stuff around (back in a days learned it hard way)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Meanwhile, I got the Windows to boot - the problem was that the Windows bootloader EFI partition was to my surprise on the other drive, which I removed for testing. When I put it back, I did manage to start normally with new SSDs connected.
And this happened, because there were more than one drive physically connected, when you installed the OS.

The SSD where you installed Windows, and the HDD where the Windows install routine put the bootloader partition.

In future, the way to alleviate this problem is to have only ONE drive physically connected when you do a Windows install.
 

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